Thursday, June 30, 2011

Interview with Aislinn MacNamara

In honor of the Canada Day Blog Hop - every day until July 2nd I will have interviews with several amazing Canadian authors!  To start things off today we have Aislinn MacNamara!!

About Aislinn:

They say that once you reach your forties, you undergo some sort of mid-life crisis. That must have been what happened to Aislinn Macnamara when she finally made up her mind to set down some of the stories that had been accumulating dust in the dark recesses of her brain for years. As space becomes available, other plots and characters have developed the pesky habit of moving in to take their place.

Aislinn lives in the wilds of suburbia outside Montreal with her husband and two teenaged daughters. When not writing, she looks for other excuses to neglect the housework, among them knitting, reading and wasting time on the internet in the guise of doing research.

She is represented by Sara Megibow of Nelson Literary.

AT:  Where in Canada do you live?  Tell us what you love about your town or city.

AM:  I live in the suburbs of Montreal. I first came to the Montreal area when I was 18 to attend university. Then I lived downtown. I can't really put my finger on what I love best about this area. I don't know if it's the French factor, everyone's wonderful sense of style, that certain joie de vivre or what, but I know I'm always glad to come back.

AT:  Who is your favorite Canadian Author? Actor? Artist?

AM:  Oh, I can cheat here and say Mary Balogh, since I write romance. I've read more French Canadian authors than English ones, partly because I majored in French literature at university.  People like Anne Hébert, Gabrielle Roy and Germaine Guèvremont.

As for actors, I have to admit to not watching all that many movies, and again, I'm more familiar with French artists than English ones. So Roy Dupuis just because he's hot.

For artists, I'm going to have to go with Réné Richard.

AT:  What is our favorite thing to do for Canada Day?  Do you go watch the fireworks? Or have a BBQ?

AM:  Oh dear. I live in Quebec, and in a very French, fairly nationalist area. Our Canada Day celebrations are pretty calm, compared to what we do for St-Jean-Baptiste day. I love fireworks, but you have to drive about 30 minutes away from where I live to see any. On Canada Day, anyway.

AT:  You write mainly historical romance - would you ever write paranormal or mystery?

AM:  I can't see myself doing it, but you never know. I love historicals so much, I can't imagine myself writing anything else, but within the historical genre, I never planned on writing Regency, but I ended up writing one, and that's what I've sold. So I suppose that makes me a Regency author now.

In the case of mysteries, I can't imagine it, because I'm a punster. That means I  have a general idea of some plot points, but I often don't know how I'll get from point A to point B. That comes out in the writing, and sometimes the line isn't straight. I can't fathom writing a successful mystery unless you've laid everything out ahead of time.

AT:  Favorite quote or saying?

AM:  When I was in high school, I knew a girl who was fond of saying, "The world is a figment of your imagination and you are a figment of its." I still think that's cool.

AT:  What book is at the top of your TBR pile? 

AM:  It's too high these days, and I can't see the top. No, actually, I do know what book I'd like to read next, only I don't own it yet. It's Kris Kennedy's DEFIANT. I love her medievals, but the ebook version isn't available in Canada, so I'm hoping to pick it up when I'm down in the US on vacation.

AT:  Of all the characters you've written who is your favorite and why?

AM:  I have a good friend who's going to yell at me if she reads this—and this is going to involve a bit of a story. For ten years I've been good friends with a woman who would call herself an avid reader. If you asked if she was a writer, she would tell you she can't write her way out of a paper bag. But she has good story instincts and she knows people. She has read a lot of my work in draft form, as I wrote it. Often she would tell me, "This is good. Now make it worse."

Great writing advice in general, and as far as I know, she's never read a craft book in her life.

Anyway, getting back to this character... The second manuscript I ever wrote involved a villain who was the heroine's bratty teenage younger brother. My friend loathed this character. She begged me to kill him off or at least lock him in a closet. At the end of the story, he makes a very stupid, childish mistake, that nearly kills the hero—a hero, who I must say, my friend was in love with.

So yeah, she didn't like Jonas too much after that.

Unfortunately, my characters take on lives of their own in my mind. You know how I'm a pantser? It's because I have to let my characters run the show. They tell me how the story unfolds, and I write it down.

Jonas wasn't happy with me about the role he played in that manuscript. Not one bit. He was willing to pay the villain on condition that I redeem him, which means he got his own book. So I did that. I gave him his book and I redeemed him. And somehow he sneaked his way into my writer's heart and carved out a place. I'm still hoping to salvage his story somehow.


Cats or Dogs?

I am most definitely a cat person. Lately I've been toying with the idea of getting another one. I'd love a Maine Coon Cat.

Black or White?

It all depends. In a dress? Black. If we're talking clouds? White.

Wine or Beer?

Wine, nice and red and robust. But I do like an occasional cold beer on a hot day.

Movie or TV?

Oh my. I don't watch a lot of either. Possibly a slight edge to TV as long as it's a reality show like Survivor.

E-book or Real book?

Lately, e-books if only for the convenience.

Coffee or Tea?

Both, depending on the time of day. I need my coffee to get going in the morning, but I can't drink it after 5 PM or it keeps me awake at night. Then I like a nice cup of tea.

Chocolate or Vanilla?

No contest there. Chocolate, always. The darker, the better.

Favorite Holiday?

I'll have to go with Christmas. I love the decorations, the lights and the anticipation.

Day or Night?

Night, I suppose. I tend to write at night. Night is when I dream of new possibilities.

Favorite Day of the Week?

Any day I don't have to work.


Thank you so much Aislinn for joining us today on the Canada Day Blog Hop! 

Happy Canada Day!!


  1. Fun interview! And from the bio:

    "When not writing, she looks for other excuses to neglect the housework, among them knitting, reading and wasting time on the internet in the guise of doing research."

    If I take up knitting I will be her avoid housework twin!

  2. HOw neat is this, thanks for pointing out this other. I had no idea she was a Canadian author and she is a local author. I will have to check into her thanks for this.


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